A flora, another fiction

Time: turn my gaze back

towards the garden

They have planted the blue gardenia


What I don’t know

she knows

what I can’t know

she knows

Is the nomadic body granted the freedom to imagine a house?


The speed of thought in a similarly accelerated body that is sounding out the possibility of repose without a safe haven. Thus, artistic practice becomes an exercise in approximation. It materialises an idea of solidity through the stability provided by a grid. We contemplate the translation of the intimate space, a mobile place contained in the material boundaries of the body, in the tile, the protective bark surrounding a possible refuge. Just as the ceramic tiles that clad houses seek to replicate nature, so scarce in cities, so the yearned-for home is hallucinated in the pictorial abstraction of Paula Valdeón Lemus. A displaced desire for home becomes more concrete as it blurs into progressive detachment, which is both consolation for absence and an attempted encounter.



Marble powder thickening on canvas. “Plant fiction”, decorative patterns repeated on tiles found in the ruins of different cities, countries, continents. Paula reflects on the origin of the pattern to think about the paradox of habitability: aesthetic comfort is constructed following the erasure of the original landscapes. The flower as motif consoles in the absence of natural landscape. But how many degrees of separation are needed for a reunion? The body never got far enough away from the experience of the flower, that of belonging to a home, to be able to forget them one day. The creative undertaking maintains a nostalgic impulse, although it does not become explicit. Seeking stabilisation through repetition is like saying: first calm so as to escape imagination later. Dreaming requires a house.

“If I were asked to name the chief benefit of the house, I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”

Gaston Bachelard, The poetics of space.

Sara Torres

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